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Author: alyjmoy

You Belong Here

You Belong Here

It was only my second day on campus, and I already found myself wandering lost through the Diag, teary-eyed and heartbroken because I had just said goodbye to my parents. As someone who has always been very close with family, never lived away from home, and didn’t know a single person going to Michigan, the transition to college was full of anxiety and fear. I was clueless and terrified of what was ahead. I lacked confidence in my ability to adjust to dorm life, make friends, and succeed in academics. In many cases, entering college with such a negative mindset would ultimately lead to a poor first-year experience. Fortunately, the mentorships I have fostered with HSSP peer and residence advisors provided the guidance and support I needed throughout my first semester. HSSP also gave me a large network of other first-year students with similar academic interest and motivation. Through the program’s study groups, service projects, and community building activities, I have created special bonds with people that I know I’ll remain close with throughout the next four years. HSSP has played a tremendous role in making the large, intimidating campus of Michigan feel like home. If I could go back to the beginning of freshman year, I would reassure myself that the transition to college life will not be as tough as I anticipated. This university provides the support system needed to create a comfortable, safe environment for all incoming students.

Though my preconception that academics at Michigan would be very difficult has definitely proven to be true, I would also advise myself to relax and remember that I got into Michigan for a reason. Through trial and error and a focused mindset, I learned to manage my course load and succeed in my classes. The academics here have truly pushed me to my limits and revealed my potential to do well at Michigan. Furthermore, I learned that studying does not have to be a boring chore you do alone in your room! Throughout the year, I utilized campus resources such as the Science Learning Center and Math Lab. Through my SLC study group and hours with upperclassmen math tutors, I was able to truly delve in depth into class material, collaborate and understand unique approaches towards problems, express my own ideas, and bond with fellow Wolverines. These resources opened my eyes to the large amount of support offered at this university, and I feel beyond lucky to belong to an academic community where everyone here is more than willing to help one another succeed.

To conclude, if I could travel back and tell only tell myself only one thing, it would be that I do not belong anywhere else besides Michigan. Ann Arbor has become my home, and the Wolverine community has become my family. Whether I’m cheering on the team in the Big House on a Saturday game day or studying hours of organic chemistry with peers on a Sunday morning, I find myself unbelievably happy. I’ve discovered that at Michigan, everyday is something new, and I’m beyond excited to spend the next four years in a place I feel like I am truly living life to the fullest. As I reflect on my first year, I am filled with not only awe at how much my life has changed in such a short amount of time, but also immense pride in how much I have grown as an individual. I’ve discovered so much about who I am and who I hope to be through Michigan’s excelling academics, incredible programs and opportunities, and supportive student body. Coming here was the best decision I have ever made. Now, with my first year already completed, I feel fully driven to continue working and pushing towards my academic, career, and personal goals in the years to come.

Sexual Health

Sexual Health

Coming from a diverse high school in a suburb of Chicago, the sexual education I’ve experienced was very informative, unbiased, and respectful to all individual preferences and views of sexual health. Therefore, I was surprised with the various close-minded forms of sexual education that many of my fellow classmates have experienced. I found many of the stories told to be ridiculous and appalling. In my opinion, sexual health education should solely provide necessary information to understand the physical, mental, and emotional effects of sex as well as how to practice sex in a safe and healthy manner. Educators should not force biased believes upon youth, especially when it pertains to their sexual health. Like we mentioned in lecture, these educational tactics (abstinence-only, fear-based, etc.) have only decreased the sexual health among students. Sexual health is important because an unexpected pregnancy or contraction of an STI can not only affect an individual’s physical and mental health, but also hinder an individual’s educational and career goals in the long-run. In order to improve sexual health, sexual education needs to be standardized so everyone receives the same comprehensive education. How should we better educate our youth about sexual health? Why has research shown that biased health educations decrease the sexual health of students?

End of Term Reflection

End of Term Reflection

As first semester comes to a close, I can’t feel anything other than gratitude for the incredible memories, meaningful friendships, and valuable lessons I’ve gained during my time here. Before coming to Michigan, I was filled with anxiety and fear. I questioned my potential to make friends, do well in classes, and manage the busy schedule of a college student. Furthermore, I lacked confidence in my ability to achieve my career goal of graduating with a degree in biomedical engineering and attending dental school. Looking back, I now realize that those anxieties, though understable, were completely unnecessary. Since my very first week here, I’ve felt an immense amount of support and guidance from my community. This support has helped turn Michigan into a second home.

Since coming to Michigan, I’ve gone through multiple valuable learning experiences that have allowed me to develop both personally and professionally. On a personal level, I’ve become more aware of how I interact with and view others around me. I’ve especially focused on becoming more aware of my implicit biases. Moving to a new state and getting thrown into a living area of people with entirely different backgrounds was intimidating at first. However, by making a point to communicate with others around me and learn from their experiences, my mind has been opened to new ways of thinking and living. It has also helped me gain special friendships that will last past my first year at Michigan.

Next, I feel that my professional goals have strengthened since coming to Michigan. As a member of HSSP, I’ve been fortunate to learn more about the health care system and how I can play a role as a future health care professional. I’ve also been able to connect to peers with similar career interests. As a result, I have a much better understanding of my career path and the steps I need to take to achieve my goals of becoming a pediatric dentist. With that being said, I’ve also come to accept the thought of my career goal changing in the future. After hearing many speakers and professional autobiographies share their experiences with switching from one path to another, I’ve realized that my passions and interests are always subject to change. This has helped ease the pressure to succeed in the career path I’ve chosen.

When reflecting on my first semester, I’m feel proud about how I’ve managed my time. Balancing classes, activities, and a social life was a major concern of mine coming to Michigan. However, I feel that I’ve been fairly successful; I have done well in my classes, joined a few organizations, and made special relationships. Since I spent much of my time adjusting to the transition to college life, I did the bare minimum to become active within the clubs I joined. Therefore, next semester, I hope to become more involved within my organizations and hopefully gain leadership roles. Overall, I’ve grown so much personally and professionally since coming here, and I look forward to see what the future holds.

The Shocking Effects of the Opioid Epidemic

The Shocking Effects of the Opioid Epidemic

As someone who had little knowledge related to the opioid epidemic previous to the lecture, much of what Dr.Terri Voepel-Lewis shared was shocking. I recently had a surgical procedure over the summer, and I was prescribed such large amounts of Vicodin and morphine that I ended up with plenty left over. The potential danger of the overload of opioids sitting in my cabinet didn’t cross my mind until lecture. It was frightening to learn how easy it was for many patients to become fatally addicted to these drugs that are commonly prescribed to treat pain. I was especially saddened to learn that the number of babies born with drug addiction has been drastically increasing due to opioid abuse. Since my pain was often measured on a scale from one to ten after my procedure, it was also interesting to learn that in June 2016, the AMA dropped pain as the fifth vital sign.

In February 2016, whitehouse.gov stated that more Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do in motor vehicle crashes, and many of the deaths are opioid-related. This fact is a testament of how serious the opioid epidemic is and how it is negatively affecting our country.

I believe initiative in the public policy and organizational levels of the social ecological framework would have the greatest impact on the opioid epidemic. According to lecture, actions by Congress on opioids have been focused on treatment rather than limiting. I personally think it would be more effective if there were more federal regulations on the prescription of opioids and how health professionals assess pain. We also learned in lecture that if one harmful drug decreases in abuse, another will increase. Many over-the-counter drugs are known to be commonly abused. Therefore, on the organizational level, I believe the availability and use of over-the-counter drugs in local pharmacies must be better monitored. Overall, it is way too easy to gain access to dangerous opioids.

In your opinion, who is to blame for the opioid epidemic? How could health care professionals better assess and treat pain to prevent over-prescription of addictive opioids?